16 December 2007
Bethlehem Final Print
"To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
Carl Sagan, 1996, on a photo taken from deep space.
This afternoon, tucked inside my studio with snow swirling outside the window, I finished the Bethlehem print. Just in time for Christmas.
I tried to write about my complicated relationship with Christianity, the religion of my childhood and of my ancestors, but I think I'll just let these pieces (Bethlehem, Mecca, Lumbini) speak for themselves. Like Carl Sagan said, looking at our world from a distance brings human follies down to their actual size. In this turbulent time, with religious extremists all claiming to speak God's truth, I like remembering that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha, all of whom must have been great beings to have legacies so enduring, were once babies. They had mothers. They were human beings who lived in real places on this planet. That much is indisputable.
I used blues for this print because I associate the color blue with Jesus' mother Mary. The blue and white also looks wintery, the season I correlate with celebrating Jesus' birth. The image is 11" x 28 1/2" and the edition will be somewhere around 25 (I used 30 sheets of 13" x 30" Rives heavyweight).